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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4779
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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Yesterday we had a walk through with a realtor showing them the house (our fathers). At th

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Yesterday we had a walk through with a realtor showing them the house (our fathers). At the time we told her that we were not ready to sign with her as we wanted quotes for some of the work that needed to be done.
She drove my sister home and went inside to see my father. Then she handed an agreement to him and he signed it. He is 90 years old and does not understand what was going on. We live in California and want to cancel the agreement as we are showing the house to another realtor tomorrow.

TexLawyer :

Hello. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

Whether or not the contract is binding really depends on whether your father had the ability to enter into a contract.

Customer:

Yes he does.

TexLawyer :

Under basic contract law, a person must first have the ability to contract before you can have a legally binding agreement. For example, a child does not have the ability to contract, and therefore cannot enter into a legally binding agreement.

TexLawyer :

Here, if your father is having mental difficulties, and you can show that he does not have full understanding of what is going on, then he may not have teh ability to contract.

TexLawyer :

Keep in mind, even if there isn't a guardianship over him or if someone doesn't have his power of attorney, he still may not - mentally speaking - have the ability to bind himself in a contract.

TexLawyer :

Of course, this is not a determination I can make, but you probably have a good idea of his level of mental functioning.

Customer:

My sister has power of attorney for both my Mother and Father

Customer:

His mental function is very poor. I called him as soon as I heard of this. He called back but did not think he called me.

TexLawyer :

OK. That is helpful. Even though your sister holding his POA does not strip him of his legal rights, it shows that there were preexisting concerns about his mental functioning.

TexLawyer :

If this results in litigation, it may be a good idea for you and your siblings to get together and make a list of all the things or incidents that show your father's congative difficulties.

TexLawyer :

*cognative.

TexLawyer :

This will be valueable if you try to back out and want to void the contract.

Customer:

Any other advice?

TexLawyer :

My advice is always to first try to work things out with the other party. Ultimately, litigation is expensive and slows things down. I'd have a meeting as soon as you can with the realtor and ask if they will agree to release you from the contract. Explain all of your father's mental competency issues, and they will likely see that the contract is void, and that litigation is probably not in their interest.

Customer:

Ok, Thank you.

Customer:

How do I get a copy of the chat?

TexLawyer :

Glad to help.

TexLawyer :

Can I do anything else for you?

Customer:

How do I get a copy of the chat?

TexLawyer :

This will always be available through your profile. Once you "rate" the answer, it will switch to a Q&A form which is easy to print (you may have to refresh after you "rate).

Customer:

Thanks, Bye

TexLawyer :

Also, if you have any questions in the future, you can direct them to me here.

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